Meridian Dawn - The Fever Syndrome
Seeing Red Records
Melodic Death Metal
9 songs (34'34")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

In early 2000s I listened to a lot of melodic death metal. And then, over the years, I have noticed myself listening to the genre less and less. No, Dark Tranquillity remains my favorite band, but I don’t think I have discovered many interesting new acts since, and even among veterans I tend to gravitate to the early days, to same turn of the century seminal albums by a few bands comprising the genre’s pantheon. Newcomers Meridian Dawn apparently have the same issue. The promo sheet which came with The Fever Syndrome has them openly wondering whether melodic death dried up as a direction in metal, or there are simply not enough good bands to carry the torch. And yet, after giving The Fever Syndrome multiple listens the doubt remains. If this is what was supposed to resurrect the mold, then it probably needs to be broken. Normally, after I stick with the album for a while I tend to become engaged with it, but the opposite happened with The Fever Syndrome. Original lukewarm enthusiasm was replaced with boredom and shoulder shrug.

Meridian Dawn yearn for the age of At the Gates, Arch Enemy and Dark Tranquillity, yet their debut can be described as the 2nd rate Soilwork, which the band also lists among the acts it wants to emulate. Another close reference is probably Christian Alvestam’s Solution .45 and this is not a flattering comparison. And seemingly Meridian Dawn should have the pedigree, at least vocally, as Antony Hamalainen (ex-Nightrage) screams for the duo, but given Nightrage is something I also never got into, I guess it explains the indifference. Sure there are some thrash bursts here opening up the songs (With a Heavy Burden,God to All) or harmonies interspersed throughout (With a Heavy Burden, Luminescent), but groovy chords and shouting vocals prevail. Add slamming accents, moaning breakdowns (It’s All a Dream, God to All) and muddy softness (Luminescent), and metalcore is more a description for The Fever Syndrome than melodic death metal. Instead of bringing guitars to the forefront in melodic weaves, the album’s production and mastering pushes them way in the back, behind hugely overdriven drums, which indeed makes for teeth shattering moments, soon replaced by softer angst.

One at a time, I could enjoy a melodic moment in a song or two, but overall found few redeeming qualities in The Fever Syndrome, so sadly my passion for melodic death could not be revitalized. Not this way.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 55 / 100
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